There is no denying it’s a difficult time right now. Corona Virus has flipped our worlds upside down. It’s forced us to embrace remote working, caused businesses to close and for some of us sadly, it will mean the end of trading as we know it. On the plus side, we as entrepreneurs are the best placed to get through this and to make sure we use this time in a way that will benefit the future growth of our businesses or to build the foundations of a new venture. We are resilient, ambitious, excellent problem solvers and we thrive on challenges. Here is how to stay on track with your business goals.
Don’t stay in denial
There can be a grieving process when a crisis hits and effects our businesses and our lives and denial is part of that. Pretending to ourselves this isn’t happening is perfectly natural, but after a time, we must accept the reality and look for ways to make changes that will put our business back on track. Something like the Corona Virus and the impact it is having on the world is not predictable and not typical. It has had and will continue to have, a dramatic effect on businesses but it is not just business owners who will suffer. No-one will come out of this completely unaffected and the sooner we realise this, and start to take action, the better things will be.
Don’t be alone
We are all in this together and now is a time to make sure you have people around you how understand what you’re going through and can either offer practical business support, or emotional support. Make sure you stay in touch with people involved in your business and come together to make plans and to fix the things that need your attention immediately. If you work alone, join groups, talk to other businesses owners, involve family and friends but you need people to help you get in the right mindset and so that you don’t take all the burden of a business that needs help all by yourself.
Use this ‘free’ time
As a business owner, you are probably used to being busy. Being forced to close your business or to dumb down your services may mean you feel you are left with little to do. Work on your mental wellbeing. Take time for you, time to think and just some time out. This isn’t giving up, it’s resetting. You can’t achieve anything when you’re stressed. It will cause you to work in a haphazard way, take risks and do things without thinking them through. See this time to ‘stop’ as a blessing. Don’t rush yourself. It’s a time to just sit, which will lead you to new innovation and after time, you’ll want to get back on it. This is the time to take the next step.
Reassess your goals
Goals that you had for the year for your business, are likely going to need a fresh look. There is a good chance that plans you have made are either not going to be possible now or are going to need to be rethought and reshaped to be sold in a way that fits with what is possible now. Plans for taking on staff over the next few months, opening a new physical outlet, releasing a product, may need to be looked at again. It doesn’t mean these plans have to be shunned, it’s just that a new plan will need to be made to ensure that timescales are realistic, that the market will still exist and that finances will allow. It’s an uncertain time so a certain amount of scaling back may be necessary in order to not waste time, money and energy planning for something that cannot happen given the circumstances.
Revisit your finances
With all these changes and possible time out of the business, finances are going to need to be looked at very closely. Can you afford the costs of turning your materials to online offerings? Can you afford to pay staff or yourself? What support is available to you?
In times like these, assessing finances is crucial and it can be a valuable exercise to help you down the line. Many small businesses have a tendency to over project what they will achieve in a year and under project what they will achieve in 5. When re-evaluating your finances, make sure you are not over ambitious on your projections as everything is still so uncertain. These projections will be used in strategies going forward so it’s important that they are realistic otherwise it will result in another set back later down the line.
Embracing new ways of working
The businesses that will survive and even thrive, are the ones that are able to adapt. They will quickly realise that their current way of working won’t cut it right now and they will make changes to their businesses that will still allow people to access their services and products. For example, if your business relies heavily on personal sales, there will need to be some huge readjustments and research into the digital market. Can your offerings be turned into courses and sold online? Can face-to-face services be offered via skype or phone? With these changes will also come changes in the way that you work from day-to-day. If you have staff or colleagues, new ways of communicating will need to be considered.
A plan going forward
Plans and procedures make us feel safer and stronger. This is essential at this time. It will do wonders for your mental wellbeing and for your business in the long run. Even if it all seems hopeless now, this will pass and when it does, you will want to be on top of things and making headway.
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